General Question

redsgirl4eva's avatar

How do I handle and deal with this?

Asked by redsgirl4eva (262points) August 18th, 2008

I was driving in the bad part of Detroit, MI looking for my older brother. Not knowing I was on the totally wrong side of town. Anyways unbeknowns to me a drive by was going to start and I was in the middle of it. Two cars right beside me started to shoot there guns and a bullet from each side hit my ears and a couple bullets also hit the motor of my small car. I was totally confused and hurt and I guess I was also in shock but my car went into a yard and hit a brick vacant building. I broke both my legs and lost my hearing in both ears. The hospital got ahold of my brother and he signed the papers for me to have emergency surgery on my legs and ears so they could try to save both my legs and the hearing in both ears. They were able to save both legs but for my hearing they did not get to my ears on time. I can say although this is very hard for me and it really hurts not to be able to hear anything but silence I am glad I guess to b alive. I say I guess because I had always depended on my hearing for everything and know I have no hearing. It is so difficult for me right now. I know this is a very sad but freak accident.
I am now totally deaf and in a wheelchair with two broke legs. I will get out of the wheelchair eventually but i will never get my hearing back what do I do?

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14 Answers

redsgirl4eva's avatar

On top of all that my boyfriend left me because I will not be able to hear again. Which I am also having a hard time with because we had 7 years together.

SuperMouse's avatar

Find a support system – right away. I’m sure there are support groups for the deaf, hard of hearing, and newly deaf, your doctor can probably help you find one. For the time being you need to take things one minute, one second at a time. Find yourself a good counselor to help you get through the trauma of the shooting, the injury to your legs and the hearing loss. You have to reach out to others, that is the key to making it through. You will get through this, you will succeed, you will make it.

augustlan's avatar

Tough time, indeed. I completely agree with SuperMouse…get to a counseler immediately. We are all pulling for you!

girlofscience's avatar

What? Are you serious about your boyfriend having left you because you won’t be able to hear again? That, to me, seems completely absurd. I can’t even imagine the worst person ever making such a decision so immediately…

redsgirl4eva's avatar

yeah I am serious. I told him that he should give it a little time so we can both learn ASL on the website that I found while I was in the hospital because I know we were having a very hard time communicating but we can write each other.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I reckon you are probably better off without him if felt he was unable to offer you support at a point in your life when you need it the most.

As for ASL I would go to a class and socialize and meet new people both deaf and not deaf. When I was learning sign sign language it helped to have people to practice on. (admittedly I’m still no good at it but hey)

wundayatta's avatar

There are many stories about people who have had sudden catastrophic health changes, and how they have coped. Think of people in accidents who lost two limbs, or even four limbs, such as Christopher Reeve. There is a literature about this, and I think reading about other people’s experience will help. As an aside—when I was 12 or so, my favorite book was “Follow My Leader,” about a boy who suddenly goes blind when he is too near a firecracker when it goes off, and how he learns to cope and trains a guide dog.

Look, it’s normal to feel a huge sense of loss for losing your hearing. People often feel defective, and alien when compared to the rest of humanity. Feeling alien can be very painful, and throw you into a depression. If you can get therapy to help you cope, or be with a support group, that will be very important.

You may also wonder why you should go on living like this. Again, if this happens, it is fairly common. You are no longer the you you once were. You may not even know who you are any more. You are reconstructing your sense of yourself. None of this is easy. Give it time. Get help. Get training.

Also, it is very common for relationships to break up after an injury like this. Our significant others didn’t sign up to be nursemaids, and for some of them, maybe many of them, it’s just too much to deal with a damaged partner. Helping someone navigate the health care system and deal with a huge injury is very, very tiring, and a lot of people can’t hack it. It takes an extremely dedicated and loving partner to stick with you through something like this. I’m sorry yours left.

I, too, recently had a huge change in my health. It was an internal, invisible kind of thing (mental illness), but it will be something I have to cope with for the rest of my life. You do not want to know what it feels like inside on a daily basis. But I’m fighting to learn how to cope better, motivated by the knowledge that maybe one in ten people with my condition end up taking their own lives.

I don’t know exactly what it’s like to lose your hearing, but my heart goes out to you. These are the struggles that end up defining what our lives mean. You will do well, I believe.

hearkat's avatar

I am so sorry to learn of your traumatic experience, and I wish you the best possible recovery.

The Audiologist and/or Physicians treating you should be explaining the type and extent of damage to your ears, and what your options may be.

I am an Audiologist, and I did once see a patient who had a bullet lodged in his ear and a broken leg. His inner ear structures were intact, so they were able to save his hearing. Do you know what damage was done to what parts of your ears? This makes a huge difference in terms of treatment options.

Sign Language is good to know… if you know others who use it. Because you grew up with normal hearing and speech, the optimal solution would be hearing aids (or other devices depending on your injuries) so you can communicate with your friends and family as you always have… again, I don’t know the type or extent of your injuries, so I’m not sure what your best options are. I’ll gladly offer you more advice if you provide me with more details – either here or via Private Message.

As for your bf, he is in shock as much as you are. I know it hurts you deeply that he is rejecting you at this time. You need to let him go and focus on getting yourself the best of care. In time, he may come to terms with your condition and realize that he doesn’t want to lose you. Or he may not. Either way, don’t spend any of your precious time and energy trying to change him – he has to work it out for himself. And you have to focus your time and energy on getting well and finding ways to move forward in your life – with or without him.

I can tell that you are strong and determined. I admire your courage.

Tantigirl's avatar

redsgirl4eva I don’t know what to say that can help. What I can say is that I don’t know how it feels to have anything like this happen, I’m just more sorry than I can say that it did happen to you. The others before me have said it better than I ever could, I just wanted to show my support to you too.

redsgirl4eva's avatar

@ hearkat In both ears the inner ear was destroyed when my ears almost got shot off. The only “fixing” that they said was possible was the surgery they did to put my ears back totally on. I am going to my audiologist in 2 days or so and I will find out more about it then.

redsgirl4eva's avatar

Just an update on my b/f I seen him today and he wrote me a note. It said that he does still love me he just feels like he can’t do anything for me. But with our loss of communication he said that we can write each other letters and sign the the extremely very little we do know and he will do his best to be more understanding he asked if I wanted him to caome back and I said I would have to think about it . I know I LOVE him still so very much but I just do not know what to do.

redsgirl4eva's avatar

@ all Thank you for the comments they have helped me out so much

susanc's avatar

redsgirl, you know what, I think that you do know what to do and will know what to do. I think you will find your decisions are good and you don’t have to know ahead of time what to do about everything. You’re on a very steep learning curve, you’re probably partly in shock, and I imagine your body hurts. You can’t expect yourself to deal well with every change all at once. I can’t believe how well you’re doing!
Who’s caring for you besides docs, Mr. Boyfriend and us?

hearkat's avatar

I am interested in hearing the results of the examination. They will likely give you more answers and discuss options at that visit. Again, I will gladly answer any questions to the best of my ability.

As for your bf, I suspected it was shock. Men like to feel that they are the strong ones and can fix things, and they don’t like to feel the sense of helplessness he must be experiencing right now. Stay focused on yourself, and let him deal with his issues on his own. Time will show you what is the right move for you.

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